The A Team, Karate Kid, Ghostbusters and Gremlins… What have these all got in common? They are all classic 80s TV/ film franchises being remade or given sequels for a brand new audience. The trailer for the new Karate Kid film, out later this year, has already started circulating, as has the promo clip for the big screen version of The A Team. While Ghostbusters 3 and Gremlins 3 have both been confirmed as ‘in the works’, with the idea each will contain the 3D element re-popularised with the massive success of Avatar.
As fancy as all that sounds, I for one am not impressed. I actually don’t want any new versions of these films or TV shows. The originals and initial sequels (bar Karate Kid 4 with Hilary Swank – Whose bright idea was that? Shudder) were more than enough for me, and sorry, they just can’t be topped.
I mean the A Team isn’t the A Team without the original actors that made the roles of Hannibal, B.A, Murdock and Face household names. Bradley Cooper as fine as he is, is no ‘Faceman’ and I pity the dude playing B.A, who has absolutely no business playing that part. Also, I’m sure George Peppard is spinning in his grave at the prospect of Liam Neeson playing him. As ego-driven as that man was, he would have wanted someone a little more A-List, or handsome for that matter.
Didn’t these film people learn anything from new last year’s revised version of Fame, which came and went without making any impact? Or the countless Home Alone Sequels that went straight to video. Karate Kid is not much better. As much as I like Jaden Smith (son of Will), who will be playing the ‘kid’ this time… Some roles should just be left alone. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can only ever bear to see the late Pat Morita (Mr Myagi) utter the words ‘wax on, wax off’. A role he was nominated for an Oscar for, I’ll have you know. And Jackie Chan (the kwik-save Miyagi) sure ain’t gonna change my mind on that. Unsurprisingly this is a thought echoed by original Karate Kid Ralph Macchio, in an interview with the UK’s Metro newspaper last year. ‘From my personal view, the filling the void of what Mr Miyagi was – and the magic of that character – is going to be the toughest task,’ said the now 47-year-old (yep ‘Daniel San’ from 1984 is officially old, which means so am I. Eek!).
Yes, it is supposed to be a new story, blah, blah and blah, but when you inspect the trailer closely it really isn’t. And why call it Karate Kid if it really is a different movie? Huh? Huh?
In fact it sounds more like some washed-up actors trying to get paid (Ernie Hudson), or trying to become relevant (Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Harold what’s his name). No one is sitting at home wondering what ever happened to Peter Venkman from Ghostbuster’s son. Or that dude whose dad gave him Gizmo in Gremlins, for that matter. The makers of the latter just about got away with part 2,(made in 1990) but the moment has definitely passed now.
Am I taking this way too seriously? Probably. But hey, I’m sure you get by now that I am extremely passionate about all things ‘old school’.
I get that these films are much loved and hold great memories for their time, but I think the only way to share this with a new generation of viewers is by encouraging them to rent the DVD. Otherwise let’s have some new shit, and leave the classics alone.
MY ULTIMATE FIVE REASONS NOT TO REMAKE An 80s/90s MOVIE OR TV SERIES
- Although I admit there have been some exceptions, when more than five years has passed since the original or last successful film of the franchise, it rarely turns out well. So for every 90210 that works, there is a V, Home Alone 65, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Grease 2 and a Knight Rider 3000, that is a total F job!
- If an actor manages to pull off a performance great enough to deem a TV show or film a much-loved classic, then the chances are no other actor will ever be good enough to reprise the role. Even if technically they are a better actor. And as much as I love Ralph Macchio, Jaden might actually have the edge (real talk lol!). But no one will ever be able to replace the original ‘Daniel San’ In the same way there will never ever be another B.A Baracus, or Michael Knight or a Johnny & Baby, even if you change their names to try and confuse us – it won’t work!
- Using more advance and up-dated technology makes no real difference to true fans of the original. Do you think I mind the fact that the hoverboard scene in Back to the Future 2 looks like my niece put it together on her Fisher Price lap top (okay slight exaggeration, but you get my drift). It is these little ‘imperfections’, which only became ‘imperfections’ when you got older and new tricks and gimics were introduced. But that’s cool coz, its these very things that put you right back in the moment when you first watched and fell in love with the film, dodgy hair cuts and all. So glossing it up for a new version is actually ruining it.
- Adding to that, when you make a sequel you are automatically ruining the classic-ness of the franchise and what it stood for when it was first made. So like it or not, you are denying younger fans the opportunity to appreciate it for what it was, and why it was. It’s like something from a museum, it is cherished and appreciated for standing the test of time and for signifying a moment in time.
- And lastly, I just find the whole thing a tad lazy and a huge case of style over substance. Someone decides that they want to desperately squeeze out the last dregs of money, life and acclaim, by picking up something that was a big success once upon a time, and deciding with an ego the size of Mars that they can actually add something to great to that. As someone with an entrepreneurial mind I get it but still, leave it the F alone, jerk! Let my 80s memories stay in tact, as I will be forced to go out and see the new versions, just to prove my point and then I will never be able to erase it from my mind, thus ruining any future pure, unaffected viewings of the original film, sequel or trilogy! This from a girl who has yet to watch any of the newer Star Wars flicks or Superman movies. So I repeat: any sequel after the five year gap should not be made. That’s my final word and I’m sticking to it!